Cash injection rescues life-saver

PUBLISHED: 10:07 09 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

A CHARITY worker who saved two teenage lives in 2009 has seen her job rescued by an eleventh hour cash grant.

A CHARITY worker who saved two teenage lives in 2009 has seen her job rescued by an eleventh hour cash grant.

Dawn Hancock works with 110 children in her unique role as an advocacy worker supporting young carers across North Somerset.

But cash from the charitable trust which funds her part-time role was due to run out in February - leaving Dawn on the brink of unemployment and the young people she supports facing life without her vital help.

However, a last-ditch bid for renewed funds was successful on Monday, meaning that Dawn - employed by Crossroads Care in Graham Road - can continue in her role supporting children from Weston to Clevedon.

The news has come as a huge boost to district youngsters, including two whose lives Dawn is credited with saving during 2009.

One, a 16-year-old called Paul, had cared for his ill mother for years, but was evicted when she began a new relationship.

The homeless teenager got into debt, his health suffered, and he become depressed and began self-harming before Dawn's intervention.

And 16-year-old Jane, who had cared for her disabled aunt since the age of 11, was thrown out of her home when she elected to go to college instead of become a full-time carer.

Homeless and desperate, she too turned to Dawn for help.

Having been forced out of their homes, the two teenagers ceased to be classed as carers, meaning they were no longer eligible for previous support.

However, Crossroads plugged the gap, support from Dawn helped bring them back from the brink, and both Paul and Jane are now in new accommodation, receiving benefits and working through college.

Heidi Every, manager of the young carers service, said: "It is frightening to think what may have happened to these youngsters if we had not had the funding in place for an advocate.

"The whole team is delighted with the outcome for these two courageous teenagers, who have faced so many challenges in their lives.

"We are extremely proud of their achievements and relieved that we were here to help them when they needed it most.

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